Just a month after release, the Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab)'s sales have taken a nosedive in Japan – despite it being the country where compact mirrorless products, including Canon's M-series cameras, have proved the most successful.
The report (hat tip (opens in new tab) to Canon News) comes courtesy of a story by BCN+R (opens in new tab), a Japanese organization that aggregates point of sale data from the nation's retailers. The outlet illustrates the Canon EOS RP's sales information with an alarming graph, demonstrating the nosedive after just a month on sale.
The RP – a smaller, lighter version of the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) – was envisioned by Canon as a way for existing APS-C customers, including those using the company's original mirrorless cameras like the Canon EOS M50 (opens in new tab), to graduate to a full-frame mirrorless system.
Its initial performance was very promising, with the camera outselling all competitors in its class, securing almost 35% of all full-frame mirrorless sales upon its Japanese launch on 14 March. Indeed, Canon's latest financial report (opens in new tab) notes that sales of the RP “got off to a flying start”.
However, those figures did not sustain in Japan. After just a week it had been leapfrogged by the Sony A7 III (opens in new tab), with its share dropping to 25%, and despite a brief mid-month uptick it ultimately finished the month with just a 14% share – still second among all full-frame mirrorless cameras.
After a month, the A7 III had rocketed to a 42% share with the RP only slightly above the EOS R (whose sales had incrementally grown over the same period) – a far cry from Canon's strategy of securing the top slot in the full-frame category.
BCN+R concluded that, while the EOS RP's low price gave it an advantage, ultimately pricing is not as important to customers buying full-frame mirrorless cameras. A much more critical factor is the lens ecosystem – and, with only four native RF lenses available, the RP faltered next to the A7 III's rich selection of optics.
With six more products on the Canon RF lens roadmap (opens in new tab) due to launch by year's end, including the imminent release of the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L (opens in new tab), the EOS RP (and EOS R)'s performance should experience a second wind.
Until the R system is more mature, though, it will be a tough battle to wrest the top slot from Sony.
Canon EOS RP review (opens in new tab)
Canon EOS RP vs EOS R: key differences and how to choose between them (opens in new tab)
Canon Imaging: 23% decline in camera sales, 81% drop in operating profit (opens in new tab)